tv U.S. Senate CSPAN April 22, 2010 9:00am-12:00pm EDT
factors as well as what they refer to as the stigma of being involved in the t.a.r.p. means that if they launch this program within the t.a.r.p., they won't expect that much additional participation and that they have to take those sticks away in order to get smaller banks to come to the window and participate. so, and in order to do that, they absolutely have to take the legislation out of the t.a.r.p.. one of the unfortunate things i was discussing earlier with senator grassley, originally it was contemplated that our oversight role would come with it, that part of their proposed legislation would take us along with the $30 billion and the 95%, potentially, of cpp recipients that we could maintain and continue, you know, fluidly without interruption our oversight, but right now as the current intention is that we would not be included. ..
we have to do more with him. >> whether it is bill clinton from 1987 or lastly, the c-span video library features 115,000 individuals common everyday add new faces from politicians, reporters and export you can follow. surge, watch it, clip it and share a. every for program since 1987. now available free online at the c-span video library. now national security adviser james jones. the femur nato commander talks
about the middle east peace process at the washington institute for near east policy. this is a half an hour. >> thank you very much, john. and thank you, martin, for your very kind introduction, and for your leadership as the institute new president. you have 25 years of institute history to live up to and 25 years of institute presidents watching to make sure you get it right. [laughter] >> you know, in order to set the stage for my remarks, i would just like to tell you, a story that i think is true. it happened recently in southern afghanistan. a member of the taliban was separated from his fighting party, and wandered around for a few days in the desert loss, out of food, no water. he looked on the horizon and he saw what looked like a little shack. he walked towards that shack, and as he got to it it turned
out that it was a shack, a little store owned by a jewish merchant. and the taliban warriors went up to him and said i need water. give me some water. and the merchant said i'm sorry, i don't have any water, but would like to buy a die? we have a nice sale of ties today. whereupon the taliban erupted into an extreme language that i can't repeat, but about israel, about jewish people, about the man himself, about his family. he said i need water and you're trying to sell because. you people don't get it. and passively the merchant stood there, and until the taliban was through, said i'm sorry that i don't have water for you, and i forgive you for all of the insults that you have levied against me, my family, my country. but i will help you out. if you go over that hill and walk about two miles there is a
restaurant there and they have all the water you will need. the taliban, instead of saying thanks, still muttering under his breath, disappears over the hill, only to come back about an hour later. walking up to the merchant and said your brother tells me i need a tied to get into the restaurant. [laughter] >> so, rob, i would like to thank you also for this welcome and, ladies and gentlemen, on your 25th anniversary, let me commend all those who have made the washington institute for near east policy the respected institution that it is today, a vital institution, especially past presidents barbi weinberg, fred lafer, michael stein and your chairman howard berkowitz. i also want to thank the distinguished trustees, board of advisors, which has one empty chair tonight because of the
recent loss of one of your longtime advisors, a public servant, a true warrior statesman, diplomat, and one of my predecessors as supreme allied commander of europe. tonight, we all remember general and former secretary of state alexander haig. [applause] >> for a quarter-century through five different administrations, this institute has provided an invaluable service to policymakers and to the american people. instead of partisanship you've given us scholarship. instead of simply recycling old arguments, you've given us fresh and objective analysis. so i want to thank rob and your entire staff, and 25 years of scholars and fellows, for your insights and your contributions. may you continue for another 25 years, and 25 years beyond that. thank you. [applause] >> and i've seen this firsthand myself. as was mentioned, in 2007 i
accepted to serve as a special envoy for middle east regional security. our work was strengthened by the advice and the counsel of many experts, including one of our special advisors and your senior fellows, matthew levitt. we benefited from discussions with other institute fellows, including david makovsky and dennis ross. and, of course, resident obama's administration was all too happy to steal dennis away from you, and he is now helping to lead our efforts in the region at the national security council. and i believe dennis is here tonight. dennis, would you please stand to be recognized. [applause] >> and i especially want to thank the institute for your work on behalf of the effort that president obama called for in his speech last year in cairo. that is, greater understanding between the united states and muslim communities around the world. president called for a quote sustained effort to listen to
each other, to learn from each other, to respect one another, and to seek the common ground, unquote. so in that spirit, you've been promoting mutual understanding for many years. whether it's welcoming washington scholars from cairo to baghdad, your arabic language website, rob's weekly arabic language interview show, or his recent documentary recounting the little known story of how arabs saved jews from holocaust. so thank you all. thank you for the analysis that has strengthened our national security and for promoting the mutual understanding that can lead to a safer, more secure world for us all. and i wish you continued success, because, frankly, our nation, and indeed the world needs institutions like yours now more than ever. indeed since taking office, president obama has made it clear that his first and foremost priority is the safety and security of the american people. to this end, he has pursued a new era of american leadership
and comprehensive engagement based on mutual interests and mutual respect. in the coming weeks, we will be releasing a new national security strategy that formalizes the presidents approach. and approach that is rooted in and guided by our national security interests. these answers are clear and ambiguous and enduring. security, we have an enduring interest in this the duty of the united states, our citizens and u.s. allies and partners. prosperity, we have an enduring interest in the strong, innovative and growing u.s. economy in an open international economic system that promotes opportunity and prosperity. values, we have an enduring interest in upholding universal values, at home and around the world, and finally, international order. we have an enduring interest in an international order advanced by u.s. leadership that promotes peace, security and opportunity through stronger cooperation to
meet global challenges. security, prosperity, universal values, and an international order advanced by american leadership. these are the interests that the president and his administration are working on to advance around the world every day, including the middle east. to strengthen our security, we are responsibly ending the war in iraq. as evidenced by the success of this weekend of military operations against al qaeda in iraq, iraqi security forces are in the lead. the united states will end our combat mission by the end of august. and in accordance with u.s.-iraq security agreement, all u.s. forces will be out iraq by the end of next year. now, the most immediate challenge is for iraqi public leaders to form an inclusive and representative government. as they face the longer-term challenges of expanding prosperity and opportunity, the
iraqi people will continue to have a strong and reliable partner in the united states. and afghanistan and beyond, we have refocused the fight against al qaeda and its extremist allies. we've struck major blows against their leaders, who are now hunkered down in the tribal regions along the border between afghanistan and pakistan. at the same time, we're forging partnerships that isolate extremists, combat corruption and promote good governance and development, all of which improves the daily lives of ordinary people and undermines the forces that fuel violent extremism. and to confront the greatest threat to global security, the danger that terrorists will obtain nuclear weapons or materials, the president hosted last week's historic nuclear security summit, where 46 nations joined the goal of securing the world's vulnerable nuclear materials within four years. to advance our prosperity, president obama has worked with
allies and partners to expand the global economic recovery, pursue growth that is both balanced and sustained, launched a national export initiative to double american exports and support 2 million american jobs. and reformed the international economic architecture so that the g20 is now the premier forum for international cooperation. and as he promised in cairo, next week the president will host a summit of entrepreneurship with business leaders and entrepreneurs from more than 50 nations, including many muslim majority countries and israel, to promote our common prosperity. to advanced by is that are universal, the president has made it clear that the united states will uphold our ideals both at home and abroad, including the right of people that have a say in how they are governed. as the president said in cairo, the u.s. is committed to supporting governments that reflect the will of the people.
because history shows that these governments are more stable, more successful, and more secure. so political reform and effective and accountable governance will remain core elements of our vision for the future, in the middle east and around the world. and to advance a just and sustainable international order, the united states is working to ensure that both the rights and responsibilities of all nations are upheld. for example, the new s.t.a.r.t. treaty with russia is part of our comprehensive agenda to pursue a world without nuclear weapons. an agenda that reflects the three pillars of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, nations with nuclear weapons will reduce them, nations without nuclear weapons will forsake them, and the recognition that nations have a right to a peaceful nuclear energy. whether or not the rights and responsibilities of nations are upheld will in great measure
determine whether the coming years and decades result in greater security, prosperity and opportunity for americans and for people around the world. and perhaps nowhere do we see this more and evidenced than in the middle east where we face two defining challenges that i want to touch on tonight. preventing iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, and forging a lasting peace between israelis and palestinians as part of a comprehensive peace in the region. ladies and gentlemen, when president obama took office, iran had already assembled thousands of centrifuges and 18 related nearly a bomb's worth of low enriched uranium. iran was an active violation of five u.n. security council resolutions. moreover, iran's sponsorship of terrorist acts in iraq, lebanon, and gaza signaled a continuing determination to sow its brand
of violence and coercion across the middle east. clearly, a policy of not engaging iran did not work. and this is why we made the clear commitment to engage iran on the basis of mutual respect on the full range of issues that divide our countries. as the president repeatedly said, he was under no illusions. he knew it would not easy to overcome decades of mistrust, suspicion's, and even open hostility -- hostility between our countries. but he also knew that engagement was necessary to present iran with a choice, a very clear choice, and to unite the international community around the need for iran to meet its international obligations. so to advance our interests, the president extended his hand and the opportunity for dialogue. american and iranian diplomats met in geneva in october, and through the international atomic energy agency.
with strong support from the united states, france, and russia, the iaea put forward a creative offer to produce nuclear fuel using iran's own low enriched uranium. it was an offer with humanitarian benefits, which would ensure that iran would meet its needs, it's stated need our medical isotopes. it gave iran the opportunity to show that its nuclear program was indeed more peaceful purposes as a claims. it would have built confidence on both sides and the possibility of further agreements. in addition, the united states went to great lengths to demonstrate our commitment and to establish assurances for iran. sadly, today, we have seen no indication that iran's leaders want to resolve these issues constructively. after initially accepting the offer, they rejected the tehran research reactor proposal. they have refused sense to
discuss their nuclear program with the p5+1. the revelation of a previously covert enrichment site, construction of which further violated iran's npt obligations, fed further suspicion about iran's intentions. iran recently increased the enrichment levels of its uranium to 20%. all the while, iran continues to brutally repress its own citizens and prohibit their universal rights to express themselves freely and to choose their own future. ladies and gentlemen, these are not the behaviors of a responsible international actor, and they are not the actions of a government committed to peaceful diplomacy and a new relationship with a willing and ready partner. indeed, iran's continued defiance of its international obligations on its nuclear program and its support of terrorism represents a significant regional and global threat.
a nuclear-armed iran could transform the landscape of the middle east, precipitating a nuclear arms race, dramatically increasing the prospect and danger of local conflicts, fatally wounding the global nonproliferation regime, and emboldening the terrorists and extremists who threaten the united states and our allies. therefore were now working actively with allies and partners to increase the costs of iran's continued failure to live up to its international obligations. this includes a u.n. security council sanctions resolution which we're currently pursuing. as the president has stated, our offer of engagement with iran still stands, and we remain prepared to pursue it better and in a more positive future. iran has rights, but with those rights comes responsibilities. if iran's leaders choose do not fulfill those responsibilities, and if they continue to violate
their international obligations, they will face ever deepening isolation. iran's government must face real consequences for its continued defiance of the international community. we do hope that iran will make the right choice and act to restore the confidence of the international community in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program. however, should iran's leaders fail to make that choice, president obama has been very clear, and i want to repeat, i want to repeat that clarity here. the united states is determined to prevent iran from developing nuclear weapons. [applause] >> thank you. in so doing, we will avoid a nuclear arms race in the region and the proliferation of nuclear technology to terrorist organizations. of course, one of the ways that iran exerts influence in the middle east is by exploiting the ongoing arab-israeli conflict.
iran uses the conflict to keep others in the region on the defensive and to try to limit its own isolation. ending this conflict, achieving peace between israelis and palestinians and establishing a sovereign palestinian state would therefore take such an evocative issue away from iran, hezbollah, and hamas. it would allow our partners in the region to focus on building their states and institutions come in peace between israel and syria, if it is possible, could have a transformative effect on the region. since taking office, president a bomb a has pursued a two-state solution. a secure, jewish state of israel living side-by-side in peace and security with a viable and independent palestinian state. this is in the united states interest. it is in israel's interest. it is in the palestinians interest. and it is in the interest of the
arab countries, and indeed the whole world. advancing this peace would also help prevent iran from cynically shifting attention away from its values to meet its obligation. and since there's been a lot of distortion and misrepresentation of our policy recently, let me take this opportunity to address our relationship with our ally israel. like any two nations, we will have -- we will have disagreements. but we will always resolve them as allies and friends. and we will never forget that since the first minutes of israeli independence, the united states has had a special relationship with israel. and that will not change. [applause] >> it won't change because this is not a commitment of democrats or republicans. it is a national commitment based on shared values, deep and interwoven connections, and mutual interests.
as president obama declared in cairo, and ago, america's strong bonds with israel are well known. this bond is unbreakabunbreakable, unquote. they are the bonds of history, two nations that earned our independence through the sacrifice of a treat. they are the bonds of two people, bound together by shared lives of freedom and individual opportunity. they are the bonds of two democracies, where power resides with the people. they are the bonds of pioneers in science, technology and so many fields where we cooperate every day. they are the bonds of friendship, including the ties of so many families and friends. this week marked the 62nd anniversary of israeli independence, a nation and a people have survived in the face of overwhelming odds. but even now, six decades since its founding, israel continues to reside in a hostile neighborhood with adversaries who cling to the false hope that
denying israel's legitimacy will ultimately make it disappear. those adversaries are wrong. as the president said in cairo, with the entire world to hear, the state of israel will not go away. as he said at the united nations, do the palestinians no favors, nations do the palestinians no favors when they choose vitriolic attacks against israel over constructive willingness to recognize israel's legitimacy and its right to exist in peace and security. so america's commitment to israel will endure. and everyone must know that there is no space, absolutely no space, between the united states and israel when it comes to israel's security. [applause] >> our commitment to israel's
security is unshakable. and it is as strong as ever. this president and this administration understands very well the environment, regionally and internationally, in which israel and the united states must operate. we understand very well that for peace and stability in the middle east, israel must be secure. the united states will never waiver in defense of israel's security. that is why we provide billions of dollars annually in security assistance to israel, why we have reinvigorated our consultations to ensure israel's qualitative military edge, and when we undertake joint military exercises, such as the juniper cobra ballistic missile defense exercise that involved more than 1000 united states servicemen and women. we view these efforts as essential elements for our regional security approach, because many of the same forces that threaten israel also threaten the united states. i can also say from long personal experience that our
security relationship with israel is important for america. our military benefits from israel and its innovations in technology, from its shared intelligence, from exercises that help our readiness and the joint training that enhances our capabilities and from lessons learned in israel's own battles against terrorism and asymmetric threats. over the years, like so many of the americans, like so many of you here tonight, i spend a great deal of time with my israeli partners, including my friends in the israeli defense force. these partnerships are lifelong partnerships. they are deep and they are of biting and the our personal relationships and friendships based on mutual trust and respect. and yes, shared values that every day, across the whole range of our bilateral relationship, we are working together for our shared security and our shared prosperity. and our partnership will only be strengthened in the months and years to come. in our pursuit of a two-state
solution, we recognize that peace must be made by the parties and cannot be imposed from the outside. at the same time, we also understand that the status quo is not sustainable. simply is not sustainable for israel's identity as a secure, jewish, and democratic state, because the demographic clock keeps ticking and will not be reversed. the status quo is not sustainable for palestinians who have legitimate aspirations for sovereignty and statehood. the status quo is not sustainable for the region because there is a struggle between those who reject israel's existence and those who are prepared to coexist with israel. and the status quo strengthens the rejectionists and weakens those who live in peace. obviously, we are disappointed that the parties have not begun direct negotiations. the united states stands ready to do whatever is necessary to help the parties bridge their
differences and develop the confidence needed to make painful compromises on behalf of peace. as we do so, will also strongly support the palestinian authority's efforts to develop its own institutions from the ground up and call on other states, particularly state in the region, to do their part to support the palestinian authority as well. we also continue to call on all sides to avoid provocative actions, including israeli actions in east jerusalem and palestinian incitement that fuel suspicion rather than trust. as secretary of state clinton has said many times, and i quote, we believe that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree to an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the '67 lines, with agreed swaps can and israel's goal of a jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet israel's
security requirements, unquote. so it is time to begin those initiations and to put an end to excuses. it is time for all leaders in the region, israeli, palestinian, and arab, to support efforts for peace. it is time for today's leaders to demonstrate the courage and leadership of and more sadat, king hussein, and yitzhak rabin. i want to conclude tonight by returning to some simple words that the president spoke in oslo. this is a moment of challenge. and when it comes to the middle east, it is a moment of many challenges. it is the challenge of transitioning to full iraqi responsibility for their future. in afghanistan and beyond is the challenge of defeating violent extremists who threaten us all. it is the challenge of preventing iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them a. it is the challenge of forging a
lasting peace between israelis and palestinians as part of a comprehensive peace in the region. and it is a challenge of realizing greater prosperity and opportunity are all who call the middle east home. alone, any one of these would demand extraordinary patience and perseverance. together, they will require a comprehensive and coordinated approach. this is the work that president obama has undertaken. and this is the work we will continue to pursue in the months and years ahead. not only for the sake of america's security, but indeed for the world's security. thank you very much. [applause] >> and the next the u.s. senate gallows and for the day. and our a morning business, senators will take up consideration of the nomination of denny chin to be a judge for
the second circuit court of appeals. falling and our a debate the senate will debate on his confirmation. off the floor leaders continue to negotiate financial regulation legislation, possible for action in the senate early next week. the house comes in at 10 today the and iran sanctions bill is on their agenda. live coverage of the house on c-span at two, and now the senate live here on c-span do.